Steven “Boston” Colver’s defense attorney Dain Weiner grilled Tylar Witt during cross-examination Thursday morning. Facetiously referring to her testimony last Sept. 9 as the “time when she was supposed to tell the truth,” Weiner repeatedly asked her if she were telling the truth now.
He was trying to ascertain that her testimony regarding her former boyfriend’s role in the slaying of her mother was predicated on a plea deal that was offered to her after the September hearing. In return for her putting the blame totally on Colver for the multiple stab wounds that killed Joanne Witt, Weiner said the girl hoped to reduce her potential prison sentence from 25 years to life, down to 15 years to life.
Judge Daniel B. Proud sustained numerous objections from prosecutor Lisette Suder that Weiner was being argumentative in his questioning of Witt.
“You’ve told so many lies that you don’t remember which was the truth … Your mom was drunk and passed out because it would make it easier to kill her,” Weiner challenged when Witt referred to looking for drugs to put in her mother’s liquor.
Tylar has admitted she had a small kitchen knife in her hand during the killing but told the court she could not recall when or how she had obtained it and did not use it.
“You have no recollection of the process of obtaining a knife you were planning to use to kill your mother ?” Weiner asked incredulously. “When did you first recall you had a knife in your hand — and why did you have a knife in your hand?”
Witt answered slowly and quietly, “I was planning to help.”
“Help what?” Weiner demanded. “Help Boston do what?”
“Help him kill my mother,” she replied.
Several times during the three-hour session, Weiner gave Tylar copies of earlier testimony to refresh her memory of what she had said during prior interviews and hearings.
Tylar has testified that she has what could be called a multiple personality disorder, that within her are two other entities, Toby and Alex. Toby is a “demon from hell,” and Alex is an “angel from heaven,” she has stated.
Weiner called part of the “split personality” issue “an elaborate story you came up with just to get the 15-year deal and to show that Steven was more culpable than you. You’ve said you’re a pathological liar.”
“Yes,” Tylar replied.
“You lied to Dr. Roeder (during psychiatric evaluation) and lied to him so you’d be tried as a juvenile instead of an adult. You’ve admitted lying many times. You lied when you said it was Steven’s idea,” Weiner continued.
“Yup, yup, yup, yup,” Tylar said after each point on which Weiner said she had lied.
“It was your idea to turn on the air conditioner (to mask the smell of your mother’s decomposing corpse), and it was your idea to burn the clothes and to put drugs in her alcohol,” Weiner said.
“Yup, yup, yup,” she answered.
Weiner hammered on, saying, “The bottom line is that in return for your testimony blaming Steven, you expect to have the sentence reduced and face no charges of perjury, although the agreement doesn’t spell that part out.”
“That sucks for me,” Tylar said
He later explained that each incidence of perjury carried additional years to a prison sentence and that according to the agreement Witt would be able to retract her earlier plea to first degree murder and accept a conviction on second degree murder instead.
Suder began her “redirect” questioning of Tylar Witt by asking if she and Colver had murdered her mother. Tylar answered that they had. And in reply to more questions, Tylar said she had never tried to frame Colver, never had the thought of putting the blame on him.
“Did you kill your mother?” Suder asked again.
“Yes,” Tylar replied.
“Did you do it alone?”
“No, I did it with Boston.”
“At your fitness hearing were you wanting to blame Boston?” Suder asked.
“Were you trying to minimize the sophistication of your role in the murder?”
“Yes,” Tylar admitted.